Pork and Pumpkin Noodles

  Uh oh.  I’m back on a blue cheese kick again.  Be warned, there may be a preponderance of the stuff in our recipes for a little while.
  Here’s what we’re making:
  Here’s what you need:
8 oz whole wheat linguine (or other thin noodle)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 lb pork loin, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves (optional)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup pumpkin puree or frozen winter squash
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  Start by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the box.  Add your onion during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Drain everything and keep it warm.
  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat up your olive oil.  If you’re choosing to cook your sage leaves, cook them in this oil until crisp and then drain on paper towels.  This is the step to skip if you’re in a hurry, but make sure you try it at least once.  Fried sage is delicious.  Brush your pork with some soy sauce and generally season with pepper.  Add it to your skillet and cook for around 2 minutes on each side, or until golden on the outside and slightly pink inside.  Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
  In the skillet you just used, add the remaining soy sauce, garlic, 1/4 cup pumpkin/squash and 1 cup water.  Bring to boiling and allow to reduce slightly.  Add pasta and onions to the skillet and heat through.  Divide onto serving plates and top with sliced pork, sage leaves and blue cheese.
  We’ve made this dish both with pumpkin and with squash.  I’m a big fan of pumpkin, so I was surprised to come to the conclusion that I like it better with squash instead.  The squash has a slightly sweeter taste that plays wonderfully off the blue cheese, where the pumpkin, while still delicious, is more earthy, so it doesn’t have the same contrast.  One of the great things about this dish is that it’s really filling and satisfying while giving you a giant serving of vegetables.  The squash comes across as a really wonderful pasta sauce, so you don’t even notice!

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